I Dare You Not to Yawn
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I Dare You Not to Yawn

by Helene Boudreau, Serge Bloch

Just try to resist this comical — and infectious — cautionary fable that will have even bedtime-avoiders gladly snuggling up for a nightly challenge.

A yawn can land you in your pj’s and under the covers before you can blink and say "Baa baa black sheep." So clamp your mouth shut and look away from your sleepy dog, stay away from your

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Just try to resist this comical — and infectious — cautionary fable that will have even bedtime-avoiders gladly snuggling up for a nightly challenge.

A yawn can land you in your pj’s and under the covers before you can blink and say "Baa baa black sheep." So clamp your mouth shut and look away from your sleepy dog, stay away from your cuddly blanket, and whatever you do, don’t think of baby orangutans stretching their long arms out for a snuggly hug. Otherwise, you might find your mouth opening wide and letting out a great big yawny yaaaaaawn — hey, you were supposed hold it in! A hilarious read-aloud that is so much fun, kids will beg for it again and again, whatever the consequences.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Boudreau (Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings) dispenses mock advice for children who want to avoid bedtime with a sly dose of comedy. “There you are, minding your own business, building the tallest block tower in the history of the universe or dressing up the cat when suddenly... a yawn pops out,” she writes. Yawning leads to pajamas, bedtime stories, lullabies, and then—worst of all—lonely darkness. “How did I get here?” ask two eyes in a spread of pitch black. The key to avoiding all of this is to stifle yawns, Boudreau advises. Bloch’s (My Snake Blake) scrawled pen-and-ink drawings—in the school of Jules Feiffer and Quentin Blake—show the threat of “huggable stuffed animals” as a boy bolts, sweat jumping off his forehead, from the yawn-inducing elements of domestic life. The subversive narrator, who so clearly understands the indignity and outrage of bedtime, makes a wonderful ally, and Bloch’s visual jests make this a book that promises to elicit not yawns, but guffaws. Ages 4–up. Author’s agent: Lauren MacLeod, the Strothman Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Boudreau’s pacing is impeccable; Bloch’s stylish digitally colored ink illustrations amplify the text’s humor while helping to telegraph its thinly disguised subliminal message. ... Stop haranguing noncompliant children at bedtime; I Dare You Not to Yawn will put them right where you want them…though be prepared to fall under its spell, too. Resistance is futile.
—The Horn Book
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Yawns are sneaky. They can creep up on you when you least expect them. You might be minding your own business, building a tall block tower or dressing the cat when suddenly your mouth opens wide and a yawn pops out. Next thing you know, you have your pajamas on; you are hearing a bedtime story; you get a good-night kiss; and you are tucked snuggly into bed. How did that happen? So what if you are not ready to go to bed. DO NOT YAWN! If someone else yawns, look away. Run from huggable stuffed animals, cozy pajamas, and your favorite blankie. Avoid bedtime stories with sleepy animals; do not sing sleepy-time songs; and do not think about droopy-eyed baby orangutans. Even with all these precautions a yawn may try to sneak out. Cover your mouth to keep it from escaping or off to bed you go. The large, expressive illustrations capture the young narrator's frustration and contribute to the humor. It is doubtful anyone of any age will get through this book without at least one yawn. A perfect bedtime story. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A young boy does his best to avoid yawning because "Yawns are sneaky." When his mother sees them, he is sent upstairs for pajamas, a bedtime story, and hugs and kisses. But he's not ready to go to bed. So, the boy advises readers to follow his tips: Do not yawn. Look away if a brother or sister or the dog or the cat yawns. Stay away from cuddly stuffed animals, cozy pajamas, and your favorite blanket. Do not listen to stories about sleepy baby animals or sing nighty-night songs. Baby orangutans reaching out for hugs are off-limits as well. If a yawn ever tries to escape, cover your mouth. This is a charming bedtime story done in ink with digital colorization. The layout is very simple and uncluttered. The book will be easy to present, either one on one or in a storytime setting. With its cartoon illustrations and subtle humor, it is a fun selection.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Those sneaky, sneaky yawns--just one and it's lights out for you. In this clever, appealing offering, Boudreau describes what happens when a yawn hits: "your arms stretch up, your eyes squish tight, your mouth opens wide, your tongue curls back, and--mmm…rrr…yarwwrrrrr--a yawn pops out." Moms never fail to spot them, and soon enough, it's time for pajamas, goodnight books, lullabies, and tucking into bed with hugs and kisses. If one doesn't wish to fall prey to these consequences, then the following rules should be observed: Don't, for any reason, look at anyone else who is yawning, and avoid, at all costs, stuffed animals, pajamas, cozy blankies, books about sleepy baby animals, songs about sheep-counting and images of sleepy baby orangutans. The funny, melodramatic prose is cleverly extended by Bloch's cartoonlike illustrations that emphasize the emotions of the little boy who is desperately trying not to yawn. He looks absolutely distraught when put to bed, hilariously focused and determined as he runs away from snuggly, yawn-inducing items, and finally, happily asleep on the final page. The boy's cat appears in many of the illustrations, mimicking his behaviors and emotions to great comic effect. Just the ticket for nap-time or bedtime sharing. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Hélène Boudreau is the author of twelve books for children and young adults, including the novels Acadian Star and Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings as well as a popular Canadian chapter book series called Red Dune Adventures. She lives in Ontario.

Serge Bloch’s first children’s book, I Can’t Wait by Davide Cali, is an IBBY award winner and has sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide. His other credits include The Enemy, also written by Davide Cali, and several books he has written himself: Butterflies in My Stomach, You Are What You Eat, and Reach for the Stars. He divides his time between New York and Paris.

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